cardamom & orange cheesecake


i don't even know where to start with this one! It's one definitely the favourite out of the dishes we've created as rocket & basil. such winning flavour combinations: cardamom, orange, pistachio, caramel! the cheesecake itself is not too sweet and then you get this delicious sugar high from the brittle... 

photos by Rebecca Crawford



For the cheesecake: 
225g shortbread biscuits 
80g butter, melted
250g tub mascarpone
600g full fat soft cheese
2 eggs, plus 2 yolks
zest of half an orange, juice of 1
1 tbsp ground cardamon 
4 tbsp plain flour
175g caster sugar

For the brittle: 
100g whole, shelled pistachios
100g caster sugar
4 tbsp water
vegetable oil for greasing

For the buttercream: 
140g butter, softened
280g icing sugar
1-2 tbsp milk


1. For the cheesecake: Heat oven to 180°C. Line the bottom of a 20cm springform tin with some baking paper. Using a food processor, make a fine crumb out of the biscuits and melted butter. Press the crumb into the tin and chill for around 30 minutes. 

2. Whisk the remaining ingredients in a large bowl until you have a cohesive mixture, then pour into the tin and bake for 35-40 minutes on the middle rack of the oven until it is set, but still has a nice wobble to it. Turn off the oven and leave the cake inside until cool with the door closed, this is the best way to prevent cracks!

3. To make the brittle: lightly grease a non-stick baking tray and spread the pistachios over it in an even layer. Put the sugar and water into a non-stick frying pan and heat gently, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has completely dissolved. Increase the heat and boil vigorously for approximately 5 mins, or until the mixture turns light golden brown.

4. Moving quickly: carefully tip the caramel over the nuts, sprinkle with the rose petals and leave to cool completely. Once set, use a the tip of a knife to create lovely shards. 

5. For the buttercream: Beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Then add the remaining icing sugar and one tablespoon of the milk and beat until the mixture is creamy and smooth. If necessary, you can beat in more milk to loosen the your buttercream. 

6. To assemble: Top the cooled cake evenly with the buttercream, layer some pieces of brittle on top and finish off with some finely grated orange zest.